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North America

07.01.2012  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [construction] [petrochemicals] [clean fuels] [LNG] [refining] [engineering] [FLSO vessel] [polyethylene] [natural gas]

Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP has started up a new steam methane reformer (SMR) in La Porte, Texas, just east of Houston. The 120 million scfd of gaseous hydrogen produced by the SMR will feed into the company’s pipeline system along the Texas Gulf Coast, including the recently built 85-mile pipeline expansion to supply refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. Hydrogen is used in the oil refining process to convert heavy crude oil into clean-burning transportation -fuels and petrochemical feedstocks.

GDF SUEZ has signed a commercial development agreement with Cameron LNG, a unit of Sempra Energy, regarding the natural gas liquefaction project of Cameron LNG. This facility will be located at the site of its existing import terminal in Hackberry, Louisiana. Through this commercial development agreement, GDF SUEZ and Sempra will negotiate a 20-year liquefaction service contract for 4 million tpy of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The LNG plant will have three liquefaction trains with a production and export capacity of 12 million tpy and will be operated by Cameron LNG. The plant is expected to start full operations in late 2016.

Shell, Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS), Mitsubishi Corp. and PetroChina Co., Ltd. are developing a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, near Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada.

Shell holds a 40% interest in the LNG Canada project, with KOGAS, Mitsubishi and PetroChina each holding a 20% interest. The proposed project includes the design, construction and operation of a gas liquefaction plant and facilities for the storage and export of LNG, including marine off-loading facilities and shipping.

LNG Canada will initially have two LNG processing units, or “trains,” each with the capacity to produce 6 million tpy of LNG, with an option to expand the project in the future.

The partners will decide whether to move ahead with the project’s development after conducting engineering work and environmental assessments, as well as consultations with local communities and other stakeholders. Startup could come around the end of the decade, assuming all necessary regulatory approvals and investment decisions.

The Shaw Group Inc. has an agreement with Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP to proceed with front-end engineering design (FEED) for a 1.5 million metric-tpy (3.3 billion lb/yr) grassroots ethylene plant. The scope of work, which will be released in phases, follows Shaw’s previous award of a contract to license its proprietary technology and provide a process design package for the project. The plant will be located at Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Cedar Bayou Plant in Baytown, Texas.

Nalco, an Ecolab company, plans to construct a dry polymer production facility at the company’s complex in Garyville, Louisiana. The 300,000 sq-ft facility will produce dry polymer products for use in removing contaminants from wastewater.

When completed late this year, the dry polymer plant will increase facility space at the Garyville complex to 1 million sq ft and add 22 full-time positions to the company’s current Garyville workforce of 235 employees.

In addition to the 22 full-time positions necessary to operate the new dry polymer facility, it will take approximately 350,000 man-hours to complete the project, the equivalent of 167 full-time construction jobs. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in December 2012.

Eastman Chemical Co. has completed the retrofit and startup of its non-phthalate plasticizer manufacturing facility in Texas City, Texas. Eastman purchased the former Sterling Chemicals, Inc. plant in mid-2011. The facility, which will primarily produce Eastman 168 non-phthalate plasticizer, will increase the overall capacity of Eastman 168 by approximately 60%. Further capacity increases are possible with minimal investment at the Texas City site as demand for non-phthalate plasticizers continues to grow.

The Shaw Group Inc. has been awarded a contract to provide its proprietary technology and engineering services for a new Ultra Selective Conversion (USC) furnace for Eastman Chemical Co.’s ethylene plant in Longview, Texas. Shaw will procure the equipment for the furnace.

Excelerate Energy L.P. is developing what is said to be the first floating liquefaction facility in the US, using its Floating Liquefaction Storage Offloading (FLSO) vessel technology. The Lavaca Bay LNG project will be located in Port Lavaca, situated between Galveston and Corpus Christi on the Texas Gulf Coast, and will be designed to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to markets worldwide by 2017.

Excelerate Energy’s FLSO vessel comprises 3 million tpy of production capacity, 250,000 m³ of LNG storage, and a fully integrated gas-processing plant. With this gas-processing capability, the FLSO vessel can accommodate a wide range of gas compositions at its inlet, making it well suited for virtually any application near shore or offshore. For those situations where gas processing is not required due to the presence of existing processing facilities or where pipeline-quality gas is used as the feedstock, the processing equipment can be removed and liquefaction capacity increased to 4 million tpy.

Front-end engineering and design (FEED) is in an advanced phase and Excelerate is now entering into discussions with potential off takers and natural gas suppliers, as well as investors and potential sources of finance to take the project forward. Excelerate Energy expects FEED to last until the end of 2012, and, following its completion and successful permitting, project delivery will take approximately 44 months from final investment decision.

In its initial phase, the Lavaca Bay LNG project will consist of one permanently moored FLSO vessel with multiple connections to the onshore natural gas grid in South Texas. The project will be designed with the potential for expansion and the addition of a second FLSO vessel over time for a total production capacity of up to 8 million tpy. Excelerate Energy expects to begin the export authorization and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) permitting immediately, and is in the process of completing its site-specific final FEED effort.

Two polyethylene facilities, planned as part of the Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP’s US Gulf Coast (USGC) Petrochemicals Project, will be located on a site near the Chevron Phillips Chemical Sweeny facility in Old Ocean, Texas.

The two new polyethylene facilities will each have a capacity of 500,000 metric tpy and will use Chevron Phillips Chemical’s proprietary Loop Slurry Technology.

The company has also executed a front-end engineering and design (FEED) agreement with Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., to design the polyethylene facilities. Additionally, the company has also executed a FEED agreement with Shaw Energy & Chemicals to design the previously announced 1.5 million-metric tpy ethane cracker that would be located at Chevron Phillips Chemical’s existing Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Texas.

The estimated completion date for the USGC Petrochemicals Project is 2017. HP

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